My theory: a few bad things happened in the fall of 2018
1) loss of that USAF $2.3B govt contract (some speculated due to drug-related display on that radio show?) 2) the funding rounds last fall did not return that much money
That led to two things IMHO: 1) accelerated development of Starhopper/Starship (first flight to be completed before the next funding round in the spring). I guess the hope is to impress potential investors (recreate the vibe after the FH maiden flight a year ago) 2) more firings
Elon was probably high again when he tweeted that. Could we make a single prototype hover, yes but it wouldn't be a feature they could mass produce and sell for all sorts of reasons like, expense of needed control systems, refueling logistics, Gov. License, etc.
Exactly - it’s not designed to be mass market...it’s for the few who want it and can afford it. We’re not planning to churn out thousands a week here. Starting at $200,000 there’s lots of room to make a profit even when making it by hand.
They have massively undercut lessors to the point where the their model now depends on being the low cost provider. All because of low rates and prospering investors throwing money at WeWork in the hopes it’s the next amazon. Too bad because their model was novel. Greedy investors have saddled it with more debt than it will be able to handle
The company's main source of income - satellites launches is drying off. Whoever needed something in space already did it or will have it in 2019. The Starlink internet business that was supposed to save as all has been dragging it's feet, and after the reorg in Redmond started literally from scratch. Elon changed his mind about it 100 times and if we launch the current iteration it will be a laughing stock.
Manned flights for NASA keep being delayed, the last straw is a thorough review after his weed smoking and erratic behavior.
Investors are reluctant to give their money to a visibly unstable person, that doesn't know how to do business.
And tons of of money and resources are being dumped into the boring company and the Starship - projects that nobody wants or needs.
Of course. No one in their right mind would throw money at him anymore. I am saying all that but I hope I'll be proven wrong. Elon is an idiot whose megalomaniac complex went out of proportion, but SpaceX and Tesla can give a lot to the world. And it would be a shame if he manage to ruin both of them.
Thanks for your insights, uevh5. I think SpaceX is still positioned to devastate their competitors because of reuse. If they run out of satellites to launch, well that's a new and interesting problem. They need to get their SATs ready for internet if the market is pausing at the transition.